Last week we wrote about the AlphaCode Incubate programme, and how it was accepting applications from local fintechs as part of its latest cohort of startups. Now, one of last year’s fintechs has provided an update on its journey, with Oyi Medical Card having recently been awarded R450 000 by AlphaCode.

The awarding of the funding happened during Oyi Medical Card’s first virtual demo day, with the startup being one of seven that AlphaCode gave R2 million in entrepreneurial packages to in 2019.

For those unfamiliar with the fintech solution provided by Oyi, it is a savings card that allows its user to pay for medical expenses, while also offering a secure payment platform.

As Oyi’s CEO, Tami Ngalo (pictured in the header) explains, holders use this card to save for medical expenses.

It also removes the temptation to use the money for other purposes, because it can only be used to pay for doctors, medical services such as x-rays, blood tests and medicine, according to Ngalo.

“The card is primarily aimed at employers whose staff are not covered by medical aid. It also encourages a culture of saving and responsible financial practices. Unlike medical aid schemes or health insurance, the cardholder can use it to pay for medical services for any household member or dependent. The card works at any medical provider in South Africa where MasterCard is accepted,” notes the CEO.

“Cardholders and their families can seek medical care with dignity. We are making healthcare accessible to everyone with a social purpose to build healthy communities and sustainable wellness,” he adds.

Like many other businesses and startups, COVID-19 also had an impact on Oyi, forcing it to rethink its model in the process.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, we were at 50-60% human interaction when we would actively seek customers. Then Covid-19 struck and suddenly everyone was at home. We thought of a different way to approach people who were at home on their phones. We ramped up our spending on digital marketing and now we are 100% digital,” says Ngalo.

“We also increased our turnaround time for onboarding new clients from between five and seven days to one day,” he enthuses.

With Oyi one of several success stories to come out of the AlphaCode Incubate, the programme has disbursed roughly R30 million in funding to 31 black-owned financial services businesses over the past five years.

Those startups and entrepreneurs aiming to find similar success, are advised to apply for the upcoming cohort by 26th October 2020.